A few days this subject came up on another thread and only a few people commented on it. Is it better to publish the old articles that were not successful, to see it they are able to gain readership on Google, or just edit them as previously suggested.
(Sometimes after editing an article of mine will gain a few views but I have never seen one move up towards the top of my account page. Does Google even bother to shuffle articles after they have been edited, or if they are losers when published are they considered losers for all time?)
I've been shouted down saying things like this, so I will append the word "anecdotally" to my sweeping generalizations. Anecdotally, I have found that when I edit old articles, they immediately move up in the rankings of my account page. So I would recommend editing old articles to keep them up to date as well as near or at the top of Google searches.
Thanks. I have some articles that have never been near the top of the Google search. When edited, they do not move up much. (Maybe from one view a day to five views a day.) They are all on niche sites, but I think it might be better to just delete them and start over. This is just anecdotal info.
I never delete old "non-performing" articles because I have found that readership is very fickle. An article that has languished a year or two will suddenly become very popular. The most extreme example of this is an article that I published in 2014 that had almost no views suddenly skyrocketed last year to 1,000+ views per day for months. I have another article that I also published in 2014 that is aimed at Thanksgiving that 2 years ago suddenly went from almost no views to middle of the pack in both November and December. Then starting in fall of 2019, it surged again and has maintained that traffic through to the present (January 2020). So I like to hang on to those old articles and update them every year to keep them current because I never know when one will suddenly take off.
You have been here several years more than me but I have NEVER seen that happen to one of my articles. (I guess I can keep hoping.) I have seen several jump out of the top positions, usually when they are read and rewritten by some reader via a search engine, but certainly not improve in position like you are describing with your Thanksgiving article. I do update at least every calendar year; these "bottom of the barrel" hubs just dont seem to care.
I have had a few articles that have "popped" after a few years of being published;. it's not necessarily after being edited, but suddenly something has happened. Someone has shared the article on FaceBook, or Twitter, or somewhere else. Suddenly it has caught fire.
The ranking of articles on Google depends on many, many factors and not just if they are new or not. Other factors include the website where they appear, the length of the article, grammar, author reputation, download speed (now very important), backlinks from quality websites, etc.
Anyone who simply republishes an article will probably see it drop in rankings because the age of the article is also a factor. They also will lose backlinks.
If an article is truly a failure, it's better to rewrite the whole thing and give it a new title. But that should happen only after a thorough analysis of why the first version failed, including whether it is properly optimized for search engines.
A lot to think about here. One very poorly performing article is on leg wound treatment for a horse when no vet is available. It is refereced and detailed but since it has almost never been read has few backlinks. I do not know how to improve this as the only thing I can see wrong with it is the website. Not much I can do about that and I can see no way to improve it to increase traffic.
The other poorly performing articles seem to have more backlinks, but still not that many. You said you think they should have a new title, which I agree, but do you think there are many benefits to unpublishing first? (Besides loss of the age factor, which I do not know is even sigfiicant in these cases.)
Part of the problem may be a lack of searches on Google about horse leg wounds. I extracted the following list of keywords from Google Ads that contain the words "horse" and "wound".
They are suggestions from Google specific to your article. The numbers show the average monthly searches for each set of keywords.
You might try adding some of these keywords or variations of them (but be careful of overdoing it) and then track any change in rankings.
Likewise, I suggest linking from similar keywords in your other articles to this article to see if it helps. Any changes in rankings may take some time. but there are no guarantees because of competition from other websites.
horse wound care 320
horse wound spray 210
how to treat an open wound on a horse 140
ointment for horse wounds 110
horse wound 110
horse wounds on legs 110
horse wound care products 90
horse wound treatment 70
puncture wounds in horses 50
wound powder for horses 40
horse wound healing stages 40
bandaging horse leg wounds 40
infected horse wound 40
horse wound cream 30
best wound care for horses 30
horse leg wound not healing 30
how to wrap a horse leg wound 30
horse wound healing 20
treating open wounds on horses 20
manuka honey for wounds on horses 20
wound dressing for horses 20
spray for horse wounds 20
horse leg wound care 10
horse puncture wound treatment 10
wound management in horses 10
how to treat horse wounds 10
how to bandage a horse wound 10
keeping flies off horse wounds 10
Thanks for looking at that for me. I agree that those numbers are REALLY low, but I would be happy with only 10. At least I would know that it is helping the people I wrote it for.
I am going to try and follow a few of your suggestions and see if the traffic improves. Thank you again.
I just added back the image of me treating the wound on her leg today. Google adsense has, over the years, gone through and determined that certain images were too graphic for their liking. Now that HP is no longer going to be submiting to Google, I am hoping that they will allow such images to stay.
We will see. Other sites that discuss animal health, and rank better than this one, have much more graphic images.
How do you promote your articles? I have a separate FB page devoted to my articles. I also have boards on my personal Pinterest page for my articles. I often see a bump in traffic after I have posted my articles on FB.
Old Roses, thank you for your comments. I found that very interesting
You're welcome! So glad that I could contribute to the discussion. I lurked in the forums for many years and learned so much just reading the questions and answers. Now I feel that I have learned enough that I can start to give back and help other writers. I'm still learning though!
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